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The three stages of retirement

Portrait of Leila
Leila, Waiheke Island

When I was a young woman, I thought 70 was very old. Now I’m 72 it’s definitely not old at all.

Most retirees don’t feel old and can’t relate to the safety advice designed for over 65s. We get it.  

According to the Commission for Financial Capabilty you can be retired for up to 20 – 30 years, spread over three specific stages. So if you’re still in the early stages of retirement or don't feel old, it’s no wonder you don’t feel ‘at risk’ of a fall. 

More about the three stages of retirement

What stage are you?

Discovery

This first or early stage of retirement will, for many, be the 'doing' years. You may still be working and enjoying a broad range of social and physical activities.

During this phase of retirement, you may find people make unfair judements about your physical and mental abilities.  

You're at low risk of a fall, but there are easy things you can do now to reduce your risk of falling in the future.

The home safety checklist helps you to discover simple ways of fall-proofing your home. It’s never too early to start thinking about injury prevention.

Use the home safety checklist

If you’ve ever thought of volunteering, why don’t you think about leading a Community Group Strength and Balance class in your neighbourhood?

Endeavour

This stage of retirement may be more about consolidation, a time to choose fun things, develop old skills, explore fresh talents and grow new friendships.

You’re more careful about physical pursuits, and you do worry about getting injured as it’s taking longer to recover from the minor bumps and bruises life sends your way. You're happy to avoid obstacles such as inconvenient car parking and steep hills.

You may have had a fall, or have started finding it harder to get out of low chairs without using your hands to help you up.

There's a risk of falling in this phase of your retirement. To prevent this happening talk to your GP or local health professional about group strength and balance classes in your community. By attending a class you will build up your leg and core strength, which will improve your balance and therefore reduce your risk of having a fall. 

Also complete the home safety checklist to further reduce your risk of a fall at home.

Use the home safety checklist

Reflection

This is a time when health and finances may limit choice. It's a time to accept help graciously and keep in touch with old friends.

You have a lot of value to add to the lives of those around you and maintaining your independence is vitally important to you, and them. If you do need to move to a retirement village down the track, so be it. But you’ll want to do it when you’re ready, on your own terms.

There’s no sugar coating it, you're most at risk of a fall in this stage of your retirement. However, if you take good care of yourself, you can stay independent and living in your own home.

There's a range of exercises you can do at home or in group strength and balance classes within your community. You won’t have to over-exert yourself to gain benefit. Just a few minutes at a time, three days per week, can significantly reduce your chances of falling. So talk to your GP or health professional to arrange an assessment, or get yourself to a class near you.

Eliminated hazards in your home. Complete the home safety checklist to further reduce your risk of a fall at home.

Use the home safety checklist

Discovery

This first or early stage of retirement will, for many, be the 'doing' years. You may still be working and enjoying a broad range of social and physical activities.

During this phase of retirement, you may find people make unfair judements about your physical and mental abilities.  

You're at low risk of a fall, but there are easy things you can do now to reduce your risk of falling in the future.

The home safety checklist helps you to discover simple ways of fall-proofing your home. It’s never too early to start thinking about injury prevention.

Use the home safety checklist

If you’ve ever thought of volunteering, why don’t you think about leading a Community Group Strength and Balance class in your neighbourhood?

Endeavour

This stage of retirement may be more about consolidation, a time to choose fun things, develop old skills, explore fresh talents and grow new friendships.

You’re more careful about physical pursuits, and you do worry about getting injured as it’s taking longer to recover from the minor bumps and bruises life sends your way. You're happy to avoid obstacles such as inconvenient car parking and steep hills.

You may have had a fall, or have started finding it harder to get out of low chairs without using your hands to help you up.

There's a risk of falling in this phase of your retirement. To prevent this happening talk to your GP or local health professional about group strength and balance classes in your community. By attending a class you will build up your leg and core strength, which will improve your balance and therefore reduce your risk of having a fall. 

Also complete the home safety checklist to further reduce your risk of a fall at home.

Use the home safety checklist

Reflection

This is a time when health and finances may limit choice. It's a time to accept help graciously and keep in touch with old friends.

You have a lot of value to add to the lives of those around you and maintaining your independence is vitally important to you, and them. If you do need to move to a retirement village down the track, so be it. But you’ll want to do it when you’re ready, on your own terms.

There’s no sugar coating it, you're most at risk of a fall in this stage of your retirement. However, if you take good care of yourself, you can stay independent and living in your own home.

There's a range of exercises you can do at home or in group strength and balance classes within your community. You won’t have to over-exert yourself to gain benefit. Just a few minutes at a time, three days per week, can significantly reduce your chances of falling. So talk to your GP or health professional to arrange an assessment, or get yourself to a class near you.

Eliminated hazards in your home. Complete the home safety checklist to further reduce your risk of a fall at home.

Use the home safety checklist